The Columns

Farmer Matt

— by on December 29th, 2010

By day, Matt Strickler, of the Class of 2003, puts his Washington and Lee public policy major to work as the legislative assistant to Virginia State Senator Ralph S. Northam, a Democrat who represents District 6: the counties of Accomack, Mathews and Northampton and parts of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

But in his spare time, Matt has become an oyster farmer on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The Virginian-Pilotfeatured Old Plantation Oyster Company LLC, which Matt owns with a friend, Clark Mercer.

As the Pilot’s story relates, Matt studied aquaculture and sustainable development at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, a branch of the College of William and Mary. The oyster farm venture is putting that academic background into practice on Old Plantation Creek near Cape Charles, at a site on his grandparents’ estate.

Although Matt has taken a few samples of the oysters to special events in the area, Old Plantation has not sold any of its oysters yet. They anticipate that the 150,000 oysters in their first batch should reach market size this spring.

The short video below by Brian Clark of The Virginian-Pilot features an interview with Matt about his hobby. Have a look.